Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Hawks - February 5, 2014
New Orleans (20-27) hosts its third opponent of a four-game homestand Wednesday, as the Atlanta Hawks (25-21) cruise into town for the first matchup of the season between the teams. The series between Atlanta and New Orleans has seen the road squad have the upper hand in recent history. The last home win in the series was recorded by New Orleans on Dec. 26, 2010.
The last time the two teams squared off was Feb. 8 of last year, as Eric Gordon poured in 27 points on 10 of 19 shooting to lead New Orleans. Reserve forward Ryan Anderson contributed 19 points off the bench, making four of his seven three-point attempts as the team recorded a 111-100 victory.
Both teams have struggled with injuries this season as the Pelicans have suffered long stretches without Jrue Holiday (stress fracture in right tibia), Ryan Anderson (herniated disc), Jason Smith (right knee cartilage) and even Anthony Davis earlier in the season (non-displaced fracture in right hand). Meanwhile, Hawks star forward/center Al Horford underwent surgery to repair a complete tear of his right pectoral muscle. He led the Hawks in scoring, field goal percentage, rebounding and blocks at the time of his injury.
The Hawks, though, have remained competitive in the Eastern Conference and given themselves a legitimate chance at a top-four seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Much of this has been due to the leadership of Paul Millsap, who was announced as an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Pelicans and Hawks will meet once more during the 2013-14 campaign, but not again until late March. New Orleans will visit Atlanta on March 21 for a quick one-game road trip.
Anthony Davis vs. Paul Millsap